By now, we all know that CrossFit stormed off Facebook and Instagram in a huff, calling the company “utopian socialists.” Basically, Greg Glassman, the CEO of CrossFit, Inc., was angry with Facebook (which also owns Instagram” for deleting a group called the Banting7DayMealPlan. It was the last straw supposedly.
I get being angry with Facebook and Instagram. Glassman has every right to call out Facebook for its questionable practices and privacy concerns. And if Glassman really cared about Facebook’s questionable practices, it would call out Instagram for its shadowbanning and algorithms that make it nearly impossible for content creators to get the message out.
But deleting CrossFit’s Facebook and Instagram accounts? That’s just shooting every single affiliate in the foot.
Affiliates use the content created by CrossFit to promote their own boxes. Not to mention using the name “CrossFit” comes with a certain amount of weight; when people think “CrossFit,” they should be thinking about fitness and health, and maybe even Glassman going after Big Soda.
What they shouldn’t be thinking about is Glassman doing the equivalent of storming off to his room and slamming the door like a sulky teenager. It definitely harms the CrossFit brand, and affiliates in the process. These affiliates pay $5,000 every year for the privilege of using the CrossFit name.
As a marketing professional, I can tell you that you absolutely must be on Facebook and Instagram if your customers are consumers. (B2C, or business to consumer business.) Shutting down your social media doesn’t help you or your affiliates one bit. They relied on that content to inspire their own marketing; the majority of CrossFit affiliates do not have a marketing director.
What CrossFit should have done is continue to create content and use the platforms – but not pay a single red cent to Facebook or Instagram. Seriously – you don’t have to give them money. You can even publicly announce that you won’t give them money because of privacy issues or questionable practices.
But maybe leave out the utopian socialist part, okay? Especially since the word you probably want to use is “dystopian.”